Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Summary from NetGalley:
No, I didn’t kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn’t dump the body in the station mall.
When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people—who knew?)
Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!
ARC provided by MacMillan-Tor/Forge via NetGalley for an honest review.
The Murderbot Diaries just keep getting better and better and I really hope they never end. I love seeing Murderbot trying to relate to the humans around it and how much more human Murderbot is becoming, although it would certainly be unhappy about my saying that.
Murderbot continues to be anxious and depressed and wants nothing more to just sit around and protect Dr. Mensah while watching romantic shows. But there has been a murder and Dr. Mensah insists that Murderbot help the space station’s security team solve it. Murderbot does so grudgingly and turns out to be brilliant about solving it.
The story is told solely from Murderbot’s perspective, as are the other novella’s and the one novel. In this way we get to see how it thinks and how it can access and disseminate data so much more rapidly than humans. I really like how the humans Murderbot must deal with don’t really like or trust that it won’t harm them. But they do by the end give Murderbot a smidgen of respect and realize that Murderbot, while a rogue AI is not out to kill every human it meets.
The murder mystery was really well done. I could not figure out what or who was the culprit until the reveal, which doesn’t happen often to me. I really got a 1930’s detective novel feel through out the story, even though the setting is a space station and the detective is an AI. I could totally see Murderbot wearing a trench coat and a fedora while stalking around the station trying to find the clues that lead to who the murderer was.
The only negative, was perhaps that there was only one fight scene. However, it is a really big one that is well written and exciting to read. The pacing was also a little bit slow in parts, but otherwise it is well written and hard to put down.
If you haven’t yet picked up the Murderbot Diary series, you really really should. Even if you are not into science fiction, just because they are really smart and funny and make you think about what it means to be human and how a non-human might interpret our behavior.